The Federal Reserve Bank of New York works to promote sound and well-functioning financial systems and markets through its provision of industry and payment services, advancement of infrastructure reform in key markets and training and educational support to international institutions.
The Outreach & Education function engages, empowers and educates the public in the Second District. Our outreach mission furthers the Bank’s commitment to the region by listening to the communities we serve and developing programs, analysis and sponsored conferences and clinics to help meet their needs. Our education mission aims to advance public knowledge about the Federal Reserve System and its role in the economy.
Dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models use modern macroeconomic theory to explain and predict comovements of aggregate time series over the business cycle and to perform policy analysis. We explain how to use DSGE models for all three purposes—forecasting, story telling, and policy experiments—and review their forecasting record. We also provide our own real-time assessment of the forecasting performance of the Smets and Wouters (2007) model data up to 2011, compare it with Blue Chip and Greenbook forecasts, and show how it changes as we augment the standard set of observables with external information from surveys (nowcasts, interest rate forecasts, and expectations for long-run inflation and output growth). We explore methods of generating forecasts in the presence of a zero-lower-bound constraint on nominal interest rates and conditional on counterfactual interest rate paths. Finally, we perform a postmortem of DSGE model forecasts of the Great Recession and show that forecasts from a version of the Smets-Wouters model augmented by financial frictions, and using spreads as an observable, compare well with Blue Chip forecasts.